SEVEN SISTERS OF ELDONIAN SPACE 

'Seven Sisters Of Eldonian Space' is a collaborative exhibition that attempts to explore the different characteristics and inner qualities of a group of seven women affected by dementia.  Using poetry, art and selected music, it reflects on issues of personal identity and local history, spirituality and ageing. It was exhibited at 'Arts Hub 47' on Lark Lane, Liverpool in July 2016 and 'Unity Theatre', Liverpool, in November 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shekinah, Shechinah, or Schechinah (Hebrew: שְׁכִינָה‎)

Gender: Feminine

Shekinah is the English transliteration of a Hebrew noun meaning dwelling or settling, and denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God and cosmic glory.

 

 

Prologue

 

To some degree

Everybody works in circles.

One might chase her children

Or go look for an early Spring

Perhaps returning home in search of a new grasp on old Mother time.

One sets herself out within each and every daily task

Let’s not suggest we are at some distance

From the circle path that our Sisters take

Are we any more certain?

Do we not just take guesses at this game?

About direction, stride, where to rest?

Those repeated behaviours reveal habits ingrained

Some moments we wait ‘to bring to bloom’ fragments of the past

It’s a lonely life when our circle descends…and fast.

 

 

Spirit - PAT

But never mind such histories.

Pat’s circles are glorious

They beam with every shade and spark

They are the circles of clarity and of charity

Of the now, and all its rising power

Circles that know how to enrich a truth

Encounter 

Yeah …that truth!

Of the ‘million-petalled flower’ being

Here, do not be afraid

Pat is onto our need for colours

The force of her Peace is like the slow swapping of mementos

The force of it Present

A Peace prized open

The smile rotates throughout

Yes.

For the Spirit also circles

When something pleads such importance

Overhead where railway once met dock

And both ship and train return

The old Rotunda rises

Boundaries broken like streets

Film reels in

The Spirit circles

It seems to want to take its hold

It is a statement of the person behind the mask

It is the higher self, looking down again

The bright and pure essence of a cherished form

Cherished form is what she keeps

And offering a hand

What more can we give?

Start with a hand

Go, see what the circle is telling us.

 

Strength - NELLIE H

 

What ocean is going to stop me?

What land is going to restrict me?

The strength I need is the Strength I have

People sharing in the precious drift of the day

Mary helping with a heavy door

Go on then…

That’s my work

A woman’s work

In the Village

The tide-like drift, a social surge

Is the life I have

For I love the company of company

Spaces with living things is the place where I live

I move in music towards them

Between rhythm and word

I love the essence of the room

The strong essence of the room

And the room with the scent and with the touch of others

The tables that need to be cleared

Ahead of our next phase…so tomorrow shall arise

For another group to gather

I move in music towards them

Searching some Merseybeat truths

No Fury

Is this then not a type of love she reveals?

A longing love for community

And the Strength of the individual here

Sitting right amidst it

Believing in it

Behind it

My work

A woman’s work

Nellie.

Simplicity - RITA

 

Dance Away Rita.

Get up and dance it out.

Sunlit evenings

Where there are the finest of gowns

And dresses

Displayed in town

And on TV now

Like only a sunlit evening can hold our hearts, our heads

It all ‘feels fine’

Because there

Before sound

It is the simple dance that shines right through

She feels fine.

Plain. Knowing the score with another.

Knowing if they speak our Scouse tongue

The simple joy shines through

When Rita meets you

Like a clear act of God

Bold

Street sense

Does she feel endangered?

No, she is a child here. So are you

What harm can you possibly do?

For here, she is a child, a mother, a grandmother, a great grandmother

And don’t she see you?

…Lovely

And don’t she know You?

…Lovely

Let’s celebrate it again

Sunlit evenings

Let’s get as close as possible to them again

Nights lit like those at the Locarno with our Tommy and Alice, Lily and Dennis

Starting with the catalyst of our choreographed form

And she’s up dancing

Away

Brave a bit of everyday

Simplicity

And we’re away

Again.

 

Sincerity - EILEEN

 

Looking to the ways of Spring

And to the animals that shape lives

Life.

It needs some staying power.

Pressing against us tight

With her recognition of that thing

Touch

And of all the triggers and figures that re-ignite our memories

This is a step as worthwhile

As any other

Eileen sure is a pet lover

The woman newly aware of the bonds across family

Of family treasure

The one sincere mother

Has just seen you cross the room

And take your seat

She will press your hand gently again

It is the honest test

That life pushes us towards

The honest test at our lowest times

And here the workings of the heart like feline movement

Need a physical response

Meet Eileen

As sincerely as you meet your oldest friends

On those days when you almost forgot about them

She infuses you

Like Spring

Like an early Spring

So politely with tales

Of school

The Bluecoat

Life.

Look.

She’ll embrace each and every blossom in growth.

 

 

Serenity - AGNES

 

Tears and laughing and song and longing

The quickest joke that sets you off chuckling

And we are bound by the same span in time

In the one figure, in the one photo

A presence that cannot be gripped without the peace…

Of knowing it sits there

A serene kind

A place of serenity she finds

Agnes will pick you up by the hand

And open the days of her love for you to see them true

Agnes will pick you up

She has an ear for each sound coming through

Notes from Brides and Brothers linger in sugary nostalgia

Hands clasped beyond to Bill

She has an ear for a quieter way

For peace building

Her piano playing can be soft

Her movement can be slow

Sometimes she even hears the wind

From a Mersey river estuary nearby

And when serenity breezes in and abruptly stays

There, there…

Is the one picture she will paint in faces clear

Listen as the peace draws near

Opening

We can have it too

As tears, laughter, song and longings abide

Pass

And Agnes listens

Her Tony’s near

We can learn

We can listen

Her Tony’s near

It’s near.

Stillness - NELLIE W

 

There we see it.

And as our daylight streams in

Through each window

To be nearest to it

Matters

Because

It voices we’re onto something

It seems to offer a space renewed

In a Village setting

In dining room light that we all help create

Nellie begins to unravel

Things loosen from her grip

It’s a trusted place

Where she begins to sit again

To settle

In her stillness comes that unique smile

Gold

Breaking bright through

As the surface peels

It’s as it is with the rough and the smooth of any landscape

Of any Liverpool life

She takes account of belonging again

It needs the play of time

What can we know?

But observe the stillness

And the pure and the patient things

And the joy behind the patient things

One Sister in our Eldonian space

Amidst this resilient community

The joy Nellie brings…tea, biscuits, family ties, kid aware again, smiling

Warm daylight

A freedom

Joy she brings from out of those brighter inner rooms

That she knows lie still

Here in a space renewed

Happiness in nearness

Like a ground sense

Within.

 

Sanctuary - SHEILA

 

Coping with days

And the weight of the day

Can hurt our minds

Like high volumes

Overstretching

The uncertain lying heavy on rainy January days

Something, anything

Things in some random chain

Owning our minds

So…

Watch Sheila find her space

Trace it beyond all that 24/7 business

She lets herself inhabit it

Looks near to re-gain it

She moves into the love of a little self knowledge

Into the love of a sensitive heart

For in that Sanctuary

The Gone.

She knows that she can build again

That’s the seaside air for you

Her younger years spent in Brighton

Now it’s about the nearness of the faces

The door opening onto all things

Those that are alive before us

Whom she holds so dear

The Sanctuary of the warm light of connection

Where things can still grow

Growing

Buds not yet in blossom

But somehow sharing in the precious drift of the day

And where any pain can repose now

Almost coast out of sight

Sheila is safe within today

Any day

She’s going to make this place ‘spick ‘n span’

Her Sanctuary can be restored right here

Amid the cups and the plates

With our smiles too…

They should show up more often!

 

 

Epilogue

 

To some degree

Everybody works in circles.

One Sister goes chasing her children

Another looks for an earlier Spring

This Sister has perhaps returned home

That Sister searches for a new twist on old Mother time.

Here, a Sister sets herself out within each and every daily task

There, a Sister repeats only behaviours ingrained.

Then…something breaks through at my Sister’s table

In dining room light where we all help to shape these minor Miracles

Because our people still move and our people still feel

Good things recur, those things can be traced

Let’s not suggest we are at some distance

From the Seven Sisters Of Eldonian Space

 

‘Let this presence settle into our bones and allow our souls the freedom to sing, to dance, to praise and to love, it is there for each and every one of us’

 

(St. Teresa Of Avila)

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